Anyone who has been through divorce or separation knows how much it impacts all areas of life.
While it may well be the right decision for you and your family, emotions will inevitably be running high and influence your view.
It is important to stay positive during divorce for your own well-being as well as that of your children or other loved ones.
Here are six ways to help keep your glass half-full.
This is a stressful time. It may be that all you want to do is hide away until the whole business is done and dusted. But even if your divorce is relatively smooth and uncomplicated it will take time to process. While everything may be in a state of limbo it’s important not to let it take over your life so that it blocks out everything else.
It’s all too easy to allow self-care to be neglected as your thoughts are caught up in what lies ahead. Ensuring you take the time and trouble to eat healthily, exercise and plan in regular activities that you enjoy will help you keep a more balanced outlook.
Nobody’s life was ever improved by ignoring their physical, mental and emotional welfare.
Divorce can be a lonely place. The world and way of doing things as you know it is changing. Even if you have initiated divorce proceedings that doesn’t mean there can’t still be wobbles. Having people in your corner is vital. Your solicitor should be able to point you to a range of other professionals or support that you may not know is available. After all, while this process may be new and unfamiliar to you, they’ve been through it many times before.
It may seem a little scary to reach out to others for advice or to get help with the family finances if it’s not something you’ve dealt with before, but no one knows everything.
When the divorce process kicks in, don’t be left on the back seat wondering what’s going on. This is a time for a new start. Some important decisions affecting you and your loved ones will be made in the coming weeks and months so keep on top of the detail.
Make sure your solicitor is fully briefed on your expectations from divorce. They’re the best people to tell you what’s achievable and explain options available to you.
Have a clear picture of what you’re aiming to achieve and make sure that you’re prepared for the milestones ahead. That means getting your finances in order or thinking through the logistics of future childcare arrangements. You’ll have more chance of getting a positive outcome if you do this than if you let other people take control.
Divorce doesn’t carry the stigma once attached to it. But that doesn’t mean those going through separation don’t experience negative emotions or worry about what others may think. While you may have tried to maintain an image that all was ok within your marriage, that wasn’t the case. This needs to be acknowledged and this may include having some difficult conversations with relations, in-laws, joint friends and, most importantly, children.
Going through a divorce is draining, and it will help to have people on your side. Friends that you shared as a couple might take sides. If one spouse seems, in their opinion, more at fault than the other, that person might lose some previously important friendships.
No parent needs to be told their priority is their children. But keeping that in mind while dealing with stressful situations will help you keep focussed on the outcomes you want.
However difficult things might get between you and your ex, your children will not benefit from hearing either of you talking down the other. They’re going through a huge change in their lives as well and what they need is your stability and support.
You may never want to be friends with your ex, but you need to retain civil relations in front of the children. Even if money or access issues are making things difficult off scene, you’ve both got a commitment to your children that supersedes all other concerns.
However you got here it’s important to recognise and look forward beyond divorce. Right here, right now details of life, separating, finances and future arrangements need your attention. But never lose sight of the fact there will be a time when this is in the past. Focussing on what you want to do next can be a real positive. It’s a great time to reassess what you want out of life. And time to set in place plans to help you achieve that.
It’s extremely likely you’ll be in a new financial position post-divorce. We’ve previously written about making a new financial plan here.